For Ray Rice and the NFL Players Association this ruling affirms their belief that Roger Goodell's suspension of Ray Rice was excessive and did not follow protocol. Obviously Brown agreed with them.
Judge Brown also believed that Ray Rice had been truthful with Roger Goodell regarding the events that transpired he punched and knocked out his then fiancé Janay in an elevator (prior to elevator video surfacing). Brown obviously did not believe that the video should have shed any light on what transpired in Ray Rice's beating of Janay.
This ruling proves to me that Roger Goodell should be punished by NFL owners. That should include the possibility of being fired or at the very least a neutral third party should make rulings regarding player suspensions.
Roger Goodell is Not Capable of Being Fair
Roger Goodell has bungled the suspension process from when the news first broke of Ray Rice beating his fiancé Janay (now his wife). Goodell took his time in dealing with Rice and then handed him a two game suspension that most people thought was too lenient.
When Roger Goodell faced the backlash from the public, Goodell came up with a new a policy for dealing with domestic abuse by NFL players. The public and sponsors still weren't happy and when the elevator video surfaced, Goodell had egg on his face.
So he decided to double down and suspend Ray Rice again. While I would have agreed with the indefinite suspension had it been made from the beginning, suspending a guy twice makes no sense and shows that the commissioner is a maverick and a loose cannon.
Can he be trusted?
Can Goodell be trusted? In my humble opinion, I don't think he can. Roger Goodell's reason for handing out a second suspension was that he said Rice had misled him about the incident. Judge Brown didn't agree with Goodell's account of the events that led up to his dealing Rice another suspension.
While the judge didn't say that Goodell lied, I believe that's exactly what he did. How can fans, players and sponsors trust Goodell to do the right thing and run the NFL properly? How can NFL owners trust Goodell and his ability to be both the judge and jury?
I don't think that they can trust him. Then why do they still retain Goodell? That's an easy one for me. He makes the league big money. That's why I believe that they continue to employ the commissioner.
While sponsors were concerned with Goodell's ability to deal with domestic abuse issues committed by NFL players, their doesn't seem to be any indication that the NFL should be concerned that sponsors will abandon the NFL ship.
That's because NFL fans still are loyal to the league. They might have been upset with Goodell but they still pack NFL stadiums. The NFL didn't suffer monetarily. The Sponsors didn't suffer monetarily. Until that happens, the NFL can do almost anything it wants.
Roger won't be fired and unless the owners step in and strip him of his ability to levy suspensions and fines (at least upon appeal) players will have to wait until the next collective bargaining agreement The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021.
Goodell reminds me of an emperor who has run wild. Right now no one seems to be reigning in Goodell and that poses concerns for this NFL fan. The fact that Goodell has come out of the summer and fall player scandals unscathed proves to me that Goodell is like Teflon Don.